2018 Walk of Fame Alumni Inductees
As former Miami Dolphins greats Dick Anderson, Mark Duper and John Offerdahl took turns to speak Tuesday, the message always tied back to a common theme.
They loved their time playing for the Dolphins — whether it was at the Orange Bowl or Hard Rock Stadium under one of its numerous former names — but they love being able to say they are alumni of the franchise even more.
The Dolphins felt the same way. On Tuesday, the Dolphins named those three players as part of the latest six-member class to be added to the team's Walk of Fame along the north entrance of Hard Rock Stadium. The other three receiving the honor this year: Hall of Fame defensive lineman Jason Taylor, wide receiver Mark Clayton and offensive lineman Jon Giesler.
The group will be formally honored during the team's alumni weekend from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, when Miami hosts the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium.
"I get pumped. I do," Offerdahl, a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Dolphins from 1986 to 1993, said after the ceremony at Miami's Wynwood Walls. "Obviously I'm like 30 pounds heavier and have a lot of gray hair now, but I get pumped up with anything that has to do with the Dolphins and that I'm associated with it. To be honored by the Dolphins and the community and just to realize that as I age and my kids get older that I had such a great time back in the '80s playing the great game of football. ... I can look back at those days with great memories."
His fellow alumni on hand agreed.
Anderson, a safety, won two Super Bowls and was one of the anchors of the Dolphins' No-Name defense from the undefeated 1972 season. In nine seasons, Anderson recorded 34 interceptions — second in franchise history to Jake Scott's 35 — and was named to the NFL's 1970s All-Decade team.
He has stayed in Miami after his playing days — even though he readily admits he had reservations about joining the team when the Dolphins drafted him with the 68th overall pick of the 1968 Draft out of the University of Colorado.
"I said 'What? This is a brand-new team,'" Anderson, now 72, recollected. "As it turned out, it was the best place to go, particularly when Joe Robbie hired coach [Don] Shula. It changed our world very quickly."
Duper, a wide receiver, spent 11 seasons with the organization (1982-1992) and a decade catching passes from Dan Marino. He holds the franchise record with 8,869 receiving yards and is second with 511 career catches. He was named to the team's Ring of Honor in 2003.
"It's a great feeling because you know you're a part of it," Duper, 59 said. "You're a part of the Miami Dolphins organization."
Offerdahl made his way to South Florida from Wisconsin and played eight seasons with the Dolphins as a middle linebacker.
"I still wear that shirt with pride," Offerdahl said.
The Dolphins established the Walk of Fame in 2011 at Hard Rock Stadium's Joe Robbie Alumni Plaza. The inaugural class consisted of Robbie and the team's nine Hall of Famers at the time. Three classes and 14 more players have been added since. A 12-foot statue of Robbie, the Dolphins' founder, serves as the centerpiece for the plaza accompanied by plaques for each player named to the Walk of Fame.
Tuesday's announcement marks the first group of former Dolphins players who will be added to the Walk of Fame since 2014.
As for the other inductees:
▪ Jason Taylor, the Dolphins most recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, played 13 seasons with the Dolphins over three stints, primarily from 1997 to 2007. In 204 career games with Miami, Taylor recorded 709 tackles, 131 sacks, 44 forced fumbles and eight interceptions.
▪ Mark Clayton holds the franchise record with 550 receptions and 81 receiving touchdowns. His 8,643 receiving yards are second only to Duper.
▪ Jon Giesler spent 10 years with the Dolphins from 1979 to 1988, starting 105 games at left tackle.